Out with the old, in with the new!

This year, the burden of a soaring cost of living crisis for our country has weighed heavily, affecting our clients, staff, small businesses and in particular, self care, ‘luxury’ services. Yet, amidst the turmoil, our clients’ unwavering loyalty has been a ray of hope! Their support through tough times has been truly humbling. 

As we bid farewell to this year, some of our staff have taken the opportunity to reflect on their highs and lows. Loss of people loomed large as a low, while resilience and personal growth both emerged as highs. Looking ahead, we carry forward many lessons, hopeful that 2024 brings more stability, guided by the strength gained from navigating the complexities of 2023.

In May of this year, Sharon endured the very sad loss of her father, a deep, personal struggle whilst managing her two businesses. Yet, the outpouring of support from clients uplifted her. Witnessing her team’s growth and forming lasting client friendships resulting in incredible reviews (some real tear jerkers in recent months) were her highs, especially during her grieving period. 

For Courtney, losing her great gran back in January was a real low as she was her inspiration and fully supported her hairdressing career from the start, but transitioning to a hairstylist with her own clients from a Junior this year, has brought a sense of accomplishment. Though out of her comfort zone at times, the joy of fulfilling childhood dreams far outweighed the challenges. 

Di found fulfilment in being a confidant during her treatments, a year without notable lows she felt.  

Annette shared Di’s sentiment, finding purpose in her treatments and enjoying the fact that she can make a difference to how people feel once they’ve left her treatment room. She too, felt this year was generally positive for her in the workplace. 

Emily has loved gaining more clients, whilst being trusted to create intricate, exciting nail art and designs. Similar to Annette and Di, she struggled to find any real difficulties to pinpoint this year, which was lovely to hear.

Fran’s high was an enriching and informative Environ skincare course, she’s looking forward to helping even more clients on their journey to better skin next year, but perfecting the speed of her lash applications (she’s a perfectionist!) remains a work in progress for her into 2024.

For Sam, losing staff mid-way through the year was a low as everyone becomes part of the Strands family, yet it paved the way for new talents and new staff to flourish, a silver lining and a high for her.

Claire faced challenges with a wedding assignment in which precise timings and styles were very important for success, but as expected ‘it was alright on the night’ (as the saying famously goes) and the wedding party really were very happy with the finished result! Well done Claire! Client reviews buoyed her spirits throughout 2023, especially her five star feedback!

Nicole’s low stemmed from staff departures on her return from annual leave in the Summer, yet, similar to Sam, she has found joy in witnessing the growth of new team members.

Chelsea’s highs included producing a viral reel within a few months of working for the team and reaching 1000 followers on instagram just before the end of the year, her goal when she first joined in July. She was also happy to be awarded employee of the month in November. Her low has been Dannii leaving for maternity leave as they both start work at 8am together on a Friday and she used to really love their crazy mornings together! Courtney has filled that spot in Dannii’s absence, so they’re still pretty crazy and definitely fun…but Chelsea is looking forward to when Dannii returns to the fold having had her little boy. 

Dannii’s career highlight this year was attending the Aveda Pure Colour Master course in London at the start of 2023, a chance for her to learn and expand her knowledge base! Outside of work, she also found out she was expecting a baby with her partner Tom this year, which they are of course very excited about! This year, Dannii has found it hard accepting the loss of much loved clients who were with us last Christmas. Clients who have passed but used to visit the Salon every month or even weekly, to have their hair done, she misses their faces coming through the door. 

Lily only joined the team in the Autumn, yet she already knows the experience she has gained within just a few months has been her high. She feels lucky to have been shown and taught the things she has and she feels she has grown as a person with a lovely community of people working around her. She’s really enjoying the experience so far. However, with highs in life, there also come lows and she doesn’t mind admitting that she completely underestimated how hard hairdressers work! Even though she knows she’s not styling anyone’s hair yet, she sometimes feels the pressure to make sure everything is done on time and to a good standard. She feels it’s starting to come to her more naturally now but at the start, the pace was hard to adjust to. She wants to thank the girls in the team for their help, she thinks they’re an amazing support network!

Kerry has enjoyed working with a new team who have made her feel welcome in 2023, she loves the staff here at Strands. What’s been tough for her is building a new client base from scratch and despite having over nine years experience, being the ’newbie’ within a team again can often mean having to prove your skill set and knowledge to a crowd of new people and clients, she wants to increase her client base in 2024 as she loves being busy!

Sophie returned to the business in February following her second maternity leave, she’s enjoyed being back in the salon amongst the hustle and bustle a few days a week! She didn’t feel there were any notable lows since returning to work, definitely something to celebrate!

As not just colleagues, but also friends, we each show up for the day ahead ready to produce our best work and pull together as a team. Someone’s high might be another’s low, and a good day for one might not be a good day for the other, but what matters is the acknowledgement that both highs and lows all form part of this rollercoaster journey. We’re excited to greet you at the salon in 2024, extending a warm welcome to both our regulars and newcomers alike! Your presence, whether familiar or fresh, is something we’re all looking forward to as we embark on this next year and say goodbye to the old and hello to the new!

Thank you as ever for your custom and support this year and we wish all of you a very Happy New Year!

Love ‘Team Strands’ x

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